10 more sites that stupidly try to ban you from linking to them
July 15, 2012 – 6:44 pm | One Comment

Even more sites that try to bank you from linking to them in the terms. Make it stop.

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Ad sitelinks: Google adds extra links to Adwords adverts
November 8, 2009 – 11:51 pm | One Comment
Ad sitelinks: Google adds extra links to Adwords adverts

Google is allowing advertisers to include extra links in their Adwords adverts (the paid results that appear on the Google results page).

Twitter trials new new-tweet feature
November 8, 2009 – 6:30 pm | No Comment
Twitter trials new new-tweet feature

On top of the new Twitter retweet feature, I also seem to have got the new web-based method for alerts about new new tweets from people you follow. These changes are all bringing the functionality of the web interface for Twitter closer to the various desktop clients.

Guardian makes its comments accessible, SEO friendly and mobile friendly all in one go!
November 5, 2009 – 12:15 am | 7 Comments
Guardian makes its comments accessible, SEO friendly and mobile friendly all in one go!

The Guardian has changed its comment system - moving from a client-side system to a server-side one.

With the old system, once you loaded a page, some javascript would go off and look up the comments and display them. This wasn't terribly accessible - if you couldn't or didn't run javascript, you couldn't see the comments. It was also bad for SEO, as search engines couldn't run the javascript. And if your mobile didn't run javascript (like mine), you couldn't read the comments either.

Growth of Newspaper Twitter accounts running out of steam
November 3, 2009 – 8:45 am | 4 Comments

Newspaper Twitter accounts are continuing to grow - but at an ever slower rate, according to the latest figures for the 130 accounts I'm tracking. October to November growth was just 8.3%.

Are only 494 people in London using Foursquare?
November 2, 2009 – 10:18 am | 5 Comments
Are only 494 people in London using Foursquare?

Foursquare launched in London on October 8th - but 3 weeks later, it looks like only 494 people are using it.

How to get a link from the BBC to your Twitter URL
October 28, 2009 – 1:50 pm | 3 Comments
How to get a link from the BBC to your Twitter URL

Want to get your Twitter page doing better in Google for a search on your name? Here's a way to get a link off the BBC to your Twitter URL.

If you monitor your brand on Twitter, read the tweets before replying …
October 25, 2009 – 11:33 pm | 6 Comments
If you monitor your brand on Twitter, read the tweets before replying …

It was oneletteroffmovies day on Twitter on Saturday - turning Top Gun into Top Gum, and Pirates of the Caribbean into Pilates of the Caribbean etc. My contribution was "BT - one alien's struggle to get broadband so he can email home". And then BT started to tweet me ...

September ABCes: How the Guardian and Telegraph overtook the Mail
October 25, 2009 – 11:31 pm | 2 Comments

June 2009 saw the Mail Online unexpectedly overtake both the Guardian and Telegraph in the ABCes, partly on the back of US traffic and Michael Jackson stories.

Fast forward to September and the story is the same as earlier in the year - Guardian first, Telegraph second and Mail third. So what's changed? To find out, I've compared the ABCe figures for UK and foreign visitors in June and in September. The difference between the Guardian's performance and that of the Telegraph and Mail is revealing.

Is Google using signals from Twitter for its rankings?
October 21, 2009 – 8:39 pm | 12 Comments
Is Google using signals from Twitter for its rankings?

Is Google using signals from Twitteras part of its ranking decisions. You could see why it want to - seeing which pages people are passing around on Twitter would help it work out which pages are relevant for 'newsy' search terms (those where there is a big surge in searches for particular keywords).
The evidence

Testing such a thing would be a nightmare - how could you set up 2 different, but similar, pages and get loads of people to tweet one and not the other? I managed to set up this test by accident - here are the results.

Has Carter Ruck silenced Sidewiki?
October 21, 2009 – 1:30 pm | 3 Comments
Has Carter Ruck silenced Sidewiki?

I pointed out that the Mail has failed to shake off its Jan Moir sidewikis by moving URL. But it seems that the power of Carter Ruck may prevail where the Mail cannot.

I pointed out the other day that someone had Sidewikied the Carter Ruck homepage. But the Cater Ruck Sidewiki has now vanished. Try and read it directly and you get an error page (Note to Google - work on your 404s).

Nofollow: How to link to someone or something you detest (I’m looking at you Jan Moir)
October 21, 2009 – 7:00 am | 10 Comments
Nofollow: How to link to someone or something you detest (I’m looking at you Jan Moir)

The furore over Jan Moir has thrown up several interesting SEO issues. Here's a basic one - how should you link to something you detest?

The problem with linking
Put simply, Google counts a link to a ...

Web page word counts: reading vs linking
October 20, 2009 – 9:39 am | 4 Comments
Web page word counts: reading vs linking

I thought it was interesting to compare two graphs as they seem to go in opposite directions:

SEOmoz's new one on the relationship between word count and the likelihood of people linking to you
Nielsen's ...

Jan Moir: Don’t forget to change your meta descriptions …
October 19, 2009 – 10:48 pm | No Comment
Jan Moir: Don’t forget to change your meta descriptions …

There's a lot to remember when you're running around in a social media storm, as Jan Moir discovered last week. It would seem that updating meta descriptions isn't high on the list ...

The meta description on the Jan Moir article about Stephen Gately's death still reads: Our columnist asks why no-one will face up to the sordid reality of the Boyzone star's demise.

Jan Moir and the PCC: why its website crashed
October 19, 2009 – 2:41 pm | 10 Comments
Jan Moir and the PCC: why its website crashed

The PCC is supposed to deal with complaints about sensitive matters. To cope with this, it should put in place (1) scaleable web hosting to ensure it can cope with any surge in traffic and (2) top-quality security measures to ensure its backend is secure.

It appears to have done neither.

Sidestepping Google Sidewiki: changing URLs won’t help
October 16, 2009 – 9:04 pm | One Comment
Sidestepping Google Sidewiki: changing URLs won’t help

As part of the fuss over Jan Moir, the Daily Mail ended up changing the headline and the URL of its story and 301 redirecting the old URL to the new one. I wondered what would happen to the Sidewikis written on the original URL. The answer: the Sidewikis remain with a message saying they were originally about a previous URL.

Jan Moir: Mail readers reject her hateful bile (probably)
October 16, 2009 – 11:23 am | 7 Comments
Jan Moir: Mail readers reject her hateful bile (probably)

Update According to Google, at 2.45pm, Jan Moir is the 42nd most popular search in the last hour. The Mail must be loving the traffic they are getting. So, why don't you try contacting the ...

Google Sidewiki, Carter Ruck and the Trafigura injunction
October 13, 2009 – 11:43 pm | One Comment

I wrote a sidewiki about Trafigura. Then i chickened out and deleted it straightaway.

Cervical cancer vaccine: Please – here’s how YOU can help us inject some sense into Google’s results
October 1, 2009 – 11:57 pm | 16 Comments

I've pointed out that any concerned parents searching Google for information on the cervical cancer jab (in the tragic wake of a schoolgirl's death) see a mass of negative and inaccurate information about the vaccine linking the girl's death to the vaccine.

It turns out she died of an unrelated tumour. However, the results are likely to give parents second thoughts about allowing their daughters to be caccinated, even though the injection will save hundreds of lives a year.
YOU can help do something about this.

Cervical cancer jab: Google fuelling unnecessary fears
October 1, 2009 – 9:43 am | 8 Comments
Cervical cancer jab: Google fuelling unnecessary fears

Anyone turning to Google to look into the cervical cancer jab is unlikely to be reassured. Although these results are generated algorithmically, Google's results are anti-jab. There is very little in the way of balance in the results, with a mixture of old and new scare stories, and only a couple of positive stories.

New Google sprite: September 2009
September 28, 2009 – 1:57 pm | No Comment
New Google sprite: September 2009

Google has updated its sprite again - the one image it uses to display all its graphics (to understand what a sprite is, see my post on July's sprite update). The only change is the addition of a large and a small version of what looks like a video play button.